Love or regret dish drawers?

lisa_aJuly 23, 2014

We're so close to beginning our kitchen rem0del (yay!). I'm working on the final details of what goes where in my k1tchen, getting ready for a review meeting with our KD tomorrow.

All along, I had figured my dishes would go in drawers in the island. Now I'm second guessing myself, mostly because it will be a new thing and I'm not sure whether it will be a good thing or a bad thing.

So do you love having your dishes in drawers? Or do you wish you'd kept them in upper cabinets?

Also, how wide and deep are your dish drawers? Pics would be awesome!


This post was edited by lisa_a on Thu, Jul 24, 14 at 13:25

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I have had my dishes in drawers in two kitchens, and I love it. Mine is 36" wide, and about 10" deep (inside measurement). I have 10 dinner plates, 10 cereal bowls, 10 salad plates, 10 soup bowls, and assorted other bowls in the drawer and there's still plenty of room (the drawer could have been smaller, but I like the roominess).

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 4:15PM
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I love them. I am short and have trouble reaching anything above the second shelf in our upper cabinets, so they make my life much easier. That said, my husband who is very tall, does not like them. We also have our small appliances (blender, food processor, etc) in drawers and I love how much easier they are to get to.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 4:19PM
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We currently have dishes on shelves, but I've thought about this a lot, too, and have concluded that dishes in drawers would probably not be a good idea in our house. My wife wants all the plates in slots standing on edge above the counter, which is fine with me. Otherwise, I would want them in an upper cab or better yet on a shelf.

We already just keep enough dishes out for average daily use. For example, we currently have five plates out for the two of us but we never seem to use the bottom two plates. I may put spare dishes in a drawer, but I can't imagine fishing through a drawer for a plate or bowl every time I needed one. Seems a waste of time to me, and, knowing myself, I would certainly eventually bang my hand into something in the drawer and come away with skinned fingers or worse.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 4:23PM
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but I can't imagine fishing through a drawer for a plate or bowl every time I needed one

I honestly don't even know what you mean by this. I open the drawer and I take out a plate from the stack of whatever size and item it is I'm looking for.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 4:44PM
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Our dishes are in a 36" wide drawer and I love it. They are in individual stacks (one stack for each size of plate or bowl), so no rooting around is needed. Our drawers are on full-extension soft-close runners, so they are very easy to operate. It's easier to put the dishes away and take them back out now than it ever was when they were in an upper cabinet. One reason for this is the height, another is the location (in the plating area and also near the DW), and another is that they are spread out over that 36" width so are not all stacked on top of each other, which is different than it was in our our old kitchen uppers. Also, our children can reach the plates (and set the table) without our help -- this is a huge benefit with children who are old enough to manage their own dishes but not tall enough to reach into uppers without a stepstool. The utensils are in the drawer right above the dishes; very handy.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 4:44PM
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I hadn't seen northcarolina's post when I wrote mine, but I could say every single thing she's said (except that my children are grown)

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 4:46PM
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Love the dish drawer and would never willingly go back to dishes in an upper.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 4:51PM
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Here's a photo of our main dish drawer, taken soon after the reno. The missing stack in the front left is the cereal bowls, which must have all been in the DW when I took the photo. The round serving bowls are probably all in the DW too; they usually sit on top of the platters (front right) -- we rarely use the platters so that's no trouble for us. The plate racks are really not necessary (I did not know this when I bought them in advance of the kitchen reno). The drawer operation is smooth, the soft close keeps it from slamming shut, and the mat on the bottom is non-slip; so the dishes that are not in racks never slide around.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 4:59PM
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Thank you, everyone, for the info and a special thanks to northcarolina, for including a photo.

It sounds like 36" wide is the width to go for a dish drawer. Anyone have one narrower than that? And if so, how wide is it?

rmtdoug, I'm short and my hubby's a tad under average so drawers shouldn't be an issue. Our youngest son is tall (nearly 6') but he won't be living here forever plus he's really easy going so he probably won't care one way or the other. I thought about putting our plates in slots - a neighbor has them and they are so decorative - but how on earth do you dust them? I envision them being a mess and since I'm trying to create an easy-to-keep-clean kitchen, it's a no-go.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 5:13PM
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It sounds like 36" wide is the width to go for a dish drawer. Anyone have one narrower than that? And if so, how wide is it?

I actually laid out all my dishes on the counter and measured how much space I would need for the drawer.

As for racks, I don't have them and nothing slides, nor do I have the drawers lined. (that's what soft-close is for :-) ).

I'll post a picture when I get home.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 6:33PM
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Thanks, sjhockeyfan, looking forward to your pic later. What width did you settle on?

I did and continue to do just as you did: lay everything out in "drawers" (blue painters' tape on my counter to simulate est. drawer sizes) to see how everything would fit - or not, in a few cases - in the 1st version of our plan that the KD sent me yesterday.

I've already realized that we're going to need to adjust the drawer sizes in the island to fit my dishes. I'm just trying to figure out how to make the numbers work out since I don't have a lot of wiggle room; 56" of cabs with 15" already dedicated to the recycling bin pull-out. That leaves me 41" to play with, which is too wide for 1 drawer but when split into 2 evenly sized drawer banks of 20.5" each, one drawer isn't large enough to hold all my dishes. And I'd like to keep my dishes all in one drawer.

I can see two possible ways to make it work.

The first is to increase the recycling pull-out to 20" and use the addt'l space to store extra garbage bags like this

Traditional Kitchen by Millersburg Cabinets & Cabinetry Mullet Cabinet

If I did that, then I'd have a bank of 2 - 12" deep, 36" wide drawers with 2 - 6" deep, 18" wide drawers above them and 1 - 6" deep, 20" wide drawer above the recycling pull-out.

The 2nd option is to center a 26" wide drawer between a bank of 15" wide drawers (or a wire, 2 tier pull-out from Rev-a-Shelf) and a 15" recycling bin pull-out. I determined that the absolute minimum exterior width I can get by with for my dishes is 22.5" but I'd rather not stack my bowls 6 deep so a bit more space would be better.

Still mulling over the details.... My head hurts! lol

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 7:43PM
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Lisa, I feel funny offering advice to you, when you have made so many amazing suggestions for other people!

Do you have cookie sheet storage in your plan? If not, you could put a 9 or 10" cab on that run, leaving 32" or so for your dishes. It would be much more efficient use of space than your pic.

I have a 9" tray cab, with a little drawer above it. I have a use for the drawer, but it would have been better to use a full height door and a shelf above, for long, skinny things (rolling pin, aluminum foil, etc).

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 8:28PM
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Edit: never mind, I read the subject line incorrectly. :)

This post was edited by taggie on Wed, Jul 23, 14 at 20:47

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 8:45PM
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Lisa, here's the picture. The cabinet was slightly modified from standard size, and the result is interior measurements of 32" long by 9-1/2" high (useable) by 21" front to back.

I highly recommend heavy-duty soft-close hardware for this particular drawer. Dishes are heavy!r

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 8:54PM
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Our dish drawer is only 28", but it is so heavy with all the dishes I'd be concerned about more.

Here's the really nice part - so close to the dishwasher!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 8:58PM
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sjhockeyfan - I understand your confusion but you are not married to my wife. You should see our silverware 'piles.' Experience tells me that a dish drawer would suffer the same fate.

Lisa a - The issue with dust on open shelves, etc, is one of use. If dust builds up on an item on the shelf, it's not used enough and needs to be stored somewhere else. Like I said, we only keep enough service out for average daily use. Dust is not a problem on the dishes. The shelving itself gets dusted about once a month. Takes only a minute.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 9:35PM
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I love my dish drawer. My dish drawer is also 36". DEFINITELY upgrade to the heavy duty drawer glides. The Blum 569 HD will hold 135 lb dynamic (moving or opened) & 150 lb static (closed). I had the standard Blum soft close drawer glides (75lb/100 lb). The soft close stopped working & the drawer seemed unstable. The weight of the drawer is included as part of the weight the glides can support so it doesn't take too many dishes to get to the 75 lb weight limit.
I upgraded to the HD glides & the drawer is very stable.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 10:03PM
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I've always wondered how you dust those dish cabinets with all the slots too.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 10:05PM
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Love my dish drawer and will NEVER again live without one. When I relocate in retirement, this is a must have along with a good kitchen layout.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 12:11AM
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Some of it depends on heights. If you're trying to teach your small kids to set the table, they're great. They're also great for the vertically challenged. I'm not especially tall--5'8"--but I didn't like reaching down into a drawer for dishes, so changed it, and much prefer them on shelves, even if I have to relevé to get the custard cups, which I use a lot.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 1:55AM
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annkh, I'm glad for your help! I'm good with spatial puzzles - the big picture of kitchen design - but this is getting down to the organization nitty gritty and I need help.

I plan to have tray storage over the oven/MW but you gave me a great idea. I was trying to figure out how to put the oils, vinegars, etc in a pull-out but the only way I could was to sacrifice a decently sized drawer next to the cook top. Well, I can put the pull-out in the island instead! It's a couple steps from the cook top - no farther than I have to go now to grab the oils and such - and it would make these things convenient to both prep areas; 59" wide island and 42" wide counter between sink and cook top. And that would solve my dilemma about how to tweak the drawer sizes to work for my dishes.

sjhockeyfan, suzannesl and romy718, thank you so much for posting photos of your dish drawers! I especially appreciate seeing your dish drawer and DW pic, suzannesl. My dish drawer will be in the island, across from the DW, but down enough so it's not directly across the aisle.

rmtdoug, I'm not concerned about dust on the dishes. As snookums2 indicated, my concern is about how to dust the cab between the upright spokes that hold the dishes in place.

plllog, I was hoping you'd post your experience on this thread. I'm shorter than you (5' 4"). I don't mind the dishes in uppers now but since we're moving the cook top off the island (can't wait, can't wait, can't wait), I'm losing upper cab space so it makes more sense for the dishes to go in drawers instead of glassware. We keep our outdoor dishes in a bottom drawer and while we don't access it as often as we do our day to day plates, I never gave it a second thought.Until now.

What is it about k1tchen rem0deling that makes us question each decision multiple times?

(plllog, I will forever after think "relevé" when I reach up to get something on an upper shelf. (-; )

This post was edited by lisa_a on Thu, Jul 24, 14 at 13:26

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 3:34AM
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Dishes in a drawer and will never have it any other way. Each item is stacked and stays in its place. That was a concern of mine that things would slide around. Nope, just using a Cushy Cupboard "look a like" liner keeps everything in place. The dish drawer is the most organized drawer in the kitchen!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 7:21AM
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Most of the pics I see have the dish drawers located below the top drawer. Would any of you with these prefer to have them a bit higher? I'm wondering about if the top drawer could have a faux front to match the other top drawers but actually be a deeper dish drawer. (you know I love those faux fronts on drawers...)

I know it can be done, but my question is, would you prefer to have the dishes a bit higher? Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 9:03AM
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Good question, bee. I read this last night and was all ready to put my dishes in a drawer this morning, thinking it'd be easier to unload the DW and uncrowd my dish/glasses cabinet, but my second drawer feels like it's a looong way down there. I have a 6" top drawer.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 9:53AM
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Lisa, when are we going to see your layout?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 10:22AM
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I don't mind dishes in the second drawer. The problem with an even deeper dish drawer would be weight. The weight of dishes adds up pretty quickly, especially on a 36" or larger drawer. I easily have 80 lbs of dishes in my drawer. I would also miss that additional top drawer.
I love the faux fronts. I did the faux drawers on my trash pull out (thanks Bee & Michelle16) & still regret not spending the extra bucks for faux drawers on my dishwasher panel.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 10:30AM
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We, also, are finally getting close to starting our renovation - after about 7 months of planning! We are going to have 2 dish drawers next to each other, each 20 inches wide. They're going to be next to the dishwasher. This was one decision that was easy to make - others like the countertop, backsplash, pantry configuration I second and third guessed. Even now I'm driving my husband crazy wondering if I'm going to like them.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 11:54AM
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Love my dish drawer! Mine is right next to our dishwasher so unloading is easy.

My sister-in-law put hers a few steps away and opposite her dishwasher, its a pain to get use to.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 11:59AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

I LOVE my dish and pots and pans drawers! Mine don't even have dividers like some, so I close gently, but I would never be able to have dishes in upper cabinets again. So very easy to reach, and another benefit, here in earthquake country (California) no fear of them crashing to the ground if such an event happens.

Mine vary, but one is 33" x 21" x 10" high. Mine are all custom, so none are the same.

I did line my drawers with a rubbery lining and that does help prevent slipping.

I couldn't live without my dish drawers!!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 12:02PM
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The only lower cabinet we will have is a pull out for cookie sheets - other than that, all our lowers are drawers. I am so looking forward to having them and not losing stuff in the back of cabinets, never to be seen again!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 12:10PM
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Lisa a - Synthetic duster. They will fit through a 1 inch space. They are good for shelving with stuff on them too. They will even dust under the raised edge of a plate.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 12:38PM
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Thanks, debrak2008. I have some cushy cupboard material and plan to use it in the dish drawer.

bee, good question. I briefly considered this but it would mean I'd lose my top silverware drawer in the island and I don't have another decent place to put it so moving the DD up is a no go. Wish my kitchen were 2 feet larger in both directions. Ahhh, I'd have so many more possibilities then! Oh, well, it's not as tiny as the kitchen in my 1st house plus I have a walk-in pantry so it's all good.

annkh, I tried to post my plan but I don't have a copy of the one hubby did on his computer. I don't want to post the KDs plan without blurring the personal info and I can't because it's a pdf. I'll get my in-house geek squad (hubby and DS2) to help me later.

But I can post a pic of my Paint mock-up of the cook top wall! (don't laugh at my pitiful attempt, okay?) The cook top is moving off the island to the perimeter. No more measly 16" on either side of it; I'm going to have 42" on one side and 22" on the other!

I've done 4 of these with 9" and 18" tall 42" wide hoods and 9" and 18" tall 36" wide hoods. I wish Star Trek holodecks were a real thing so that I could upload my kitchen plans and actually walk through it before remodeling.

romy718, how deep is your dish drawer? I assumed 12" from your photo but your comment about not going deeper makes me wonder if your drawer is less than 12".

rebecca51, yay that you're so close to remodeling, too! I've had more time to play with lay-outs, which has been very helpful. I've made the finish choices, too, and with much less angst than I anticipated. It's the final organization details that are getting to me and the "oh, if only" thoughts that enter my head. For instance, I'd love to have my dish drawers next to my DW but I don't have room. The KD suggested putting them in a drawer to the right of the cook top, perpendicular to the DW but that drawer won't be wide enough either.

Oh, wait, I forgot she also suggested putting them on the end of the island, facing the cook top. That would give me a set-up similar to yours, suzannesl. I could do a 36" wide drawer there by reconfiguring the back side of the island (it's going to be display and closed storage, no seating). But then I think I'd want to increase the aisle there, which means losing inches from my island.

rebecca51, I told you I was going crazy with these final organizational decisions!

maddielee, my DD position will be similar to your SILs but, as I wrote, above, every other location has trade-offs, too. I'll have to do a pretend unload and see what I think. Thanks for commenting!

desertdance, omg, good point! The Portland area has had 4 or 5 quakes since '93 (largest was 5.3 in '93, had a 3.3 a few months ago) and they keep predicting the big one is going to hit because we're overdue. I hope they're wrong about that but even so, we do get earthquakes so it's not a bad thing to keep in mind.

Thanks, rmtdoug. I see it's doable. But it is dusting and I hate dusting. I'd rather weed for hours than dust for even an hour. (-; But even if I didn't mind dusting, I just don't have enough upper cab space to do dish storage like that. I could have more but that would mean giving up windows and I *really* don't want to do that.

This post was edited by lisa_a on Thu, Jul 24, 14 at 13:30

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 1:23PM
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Hi all:
I love the idea of dishes in drawers but am worried about the drawers sagging under the weight of them (they do that in the rental kitchen I am in right now). Is the important thing in not getting saggy drawers the make of cabinet or the make of the drawer runners? Any and all specific info on this issue would be so helpful. Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 1:34PM
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Lisa, deciding what would go where in my new kitchen, and finding the most convenient and logical places for things, was my favorite part of the design process! In fact, it is what drove most of my decisions. It helps that we'd lived in this house for 24 years, and didn't really change the footprint. We knew how we lived in the kitchen, what worked, and what didn't.

For example, we eat cereal for breakfast every morning. I put cereal bowls and cereal in the same cabinet, with the fridge on one side and the silverware drawer on the other, so breakfast is one-stop. We don't usually use both bowls and plates for meals, so it doesn't matter that the plates and bowls are in different cabinets.

Here's a short list of things that needed specific homes:
- silverware, cooking utensils, miscellaneous utensils and gadgets
- bags and wraps
- dish towels
- potholders
- plastic storage containers (these are in a drawer now - heaven!)
- pots and pans
- plates, bowls, cups, glasses
- baking dishes
- cookie sheets/pizza stones/cutting boards
- knives (I wanted a drawer instead of blocks on the counter)
- small appliances
- sugar/flour/oatmeal/etc (also in a drawer now - more heaven!
- we don't have a pantry, so needed space for canned goods, bread, crackers, cereal, etc.
- spices
- big things - stock pot, roasting pans, broiler pans
- storage for beer and pop (we stock up during sales)
- my purse and the tote bag I carry to work every day (which used to live on a kitchen chair)
- trash/recycling pullout

Some things are obvious - pots and pans, cooking utensils, and potholders near the stove, dish towels near the sink, dishes near the DW. Less used things are trickier. I love the pullouts over my fridge, for storing lightweight, bulky things, like cereal boxes and paper towels.

Remember to order extra shelves for all your upper cabinets, so you can store more items without stacking. I love having a shelf not much taller than a soup can, or a Corning casserole.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 2:00PM
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Hi. I just got back from a KD that carries shiloh. I am interested in the inset. The KD was telling me all the "issues" with inset - but the one that stuck out that I hadn't heard before was that the hinges/drawer hardware would need to be adjusted periodically - maybe once per year. He said it was because they get knocked out of alignment if someone pulls too hard or something. Has anyone experienced this with shiloh's or other inset cabs? He also mentioned swelling, etc, with temperature/humidity changes, which doesn't concern be much since we turn the AC on once the weather warms up and then keep it on at a consistent temperature until cool weather. He also seemed to be steering me away from the shiloh and toward the more expensive Plato - but I am definitely on a budget that I don't think would allow Plato. Is Plato THAT much nicer than shiloh - for painted white shaker style inset cabs? Thanks for any input!!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 2:25PM
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Lisa-I'm out of town for a couple of weeks & don't know the height of my dish drawer. I think it's probably a standard 3 drawer stack.
I just bumped a post that has tons of drawer info- "Everything I ever wanted to know about drawers."

This post was edited by romy718 on Thu, Jul 24, 14 at 14:30

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 2:27PM
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Great list and tips, annkh, thanks!

Our cereal is moving from a pull-out next to the door to the walk-in pantry so that it will be closer to dish storage and milk. Bread is staying in a drawer below the toaster. The bottom drawer in that stack is for our outdoor dishes. Top drawer is BBQ tools and napkins. Upper cab will house the outdoor glassware, ice bucket, etc.

Drawers below cook top are for pots and pans. I will be in heaven with this much storage for pots and pans, more than twice what I have now. Right now, they are squeezed onto 2 shallow shelves under my 30" cook top; the downdraft eats up so much space. Not sure how I'll use the cabs above the hood. Half tempted to not bother with cabs, just put false fronts on the boxes, since they'll be so hard to access.

The drawer stack to the right of the cook top is for prep items: measuring spoons, cups, mixing bowls, etc. The upper will contain oils, vinegars, and coffee mugs.

The BCC will house the salad spinner and other bulky items. And possibly casserole dishes. Not sure about that yet.

The sink is next to the corner, then the DW, then a 4.5" filler cab (coffee stuff since the espresso machine will be on the counter above it), then the fridge. The upper cab above the DW will contain our glassware. The deep cab above the fridge will hold the electric roaster, roasting pans and the canning pot my hubby uses to make beer.

The walk-in pantry is on the oven wall in the corner, facing the side of the fridge. I really like having all my food items close together.

Next to the pantry is the oven cab with stacked oven and speed oven. Above that is vertical storage for cookie sheets, muffin pans, cutting boards, etc (but maybe the latter should go in the island, closer to prep). The Tupperware stays in the drawer below the oven.

To the right of the oven stack is a 10.5" pantry pull-out for tall items: booze, vases, pitchers, canning jars. Between the pull-out and the door (going from 29" wide to 48") is a 17" deep, 27" wide base with an upper at the same depth). The toaster oven sits on the counter. The top drawer will hold aluminum foil, baggies, etc, same as now. I'll have doors and shelves, not drawers, below that for small appliance storage. Ditto for above the toaster oven. It's only 17" deep because the cab will be wider than the recessed area but it's not a biggie because I don't need it to be deeper than 17".

The long side of the island faces the sink/DW and fridge. It will hold silverware, knives, dishes, casserole dishes, pot holders, dish towels & rags. Oh, and the recycling pull-out. The other 3 trash/recycling bins will go under the sink. I need 5 receptacles: trash, returnables, glass recycling, mixed recycling and kitchen waste (I have a worm bin) so I'm using the under sink space, too. I've got to use every inch.

The back side of the island will have 12" cabs; open storage for books and closed storage for whatever doesn't fit elsewhere.

I have a walk-in pantry (love it) under my stairs, which holds a lot of stuff. I keep my spices in it. I am a mise en place cook so it's not a big deal that the spices aren't next to my cook top.

I have a good handle on where most things will go but the placement and size of the dish drawer is giving me fits. Good thing I cancelled my meeting with my KD today because I obviously need more time to think things through before reviewing the draft plan with her.

I wish, wish, wish that I had 24 more inches on my sink/DW, fridge wall but that would mean building an extension on the house and that's just not in the budget.

Thank you to everyone for helping me make these final decisions! GW is great!

This post was edited by lisa_a on Thu, Jul 24, 14 at 17:37

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 2:50PM
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julie1973, you should start your own thread, not hijack this one (don't mean that as bluntly as it reads). You'll get more responses to your question, plus it won't muddle this thread and topic. I've taken a little foray from the main topic but since it's my thread, I can do that. ;-)

Thanks, romy718 5, I'll look for that thread.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 2:53PM
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Like rmtdoug, I love having my plates on a rack. I'll admit my bowls would be nice in a drawer, but I don't like soup or cereal, so I don't use bowls much. For me, to just be able to reach up and grab a plate off the rack, one hand, no doors to open, is as easy as it gets. And I'm weird, and like specific plates for specific things (Plates with a defined lip for meals with a sauce, wide plates when I have a lot of different items so they don't touch, the smaller large plates if I'm having a small meal...but the smaller large plates that are large enough to be stacked with the large plates, not small enough to be stacked with the small ones...). yes, I'd be one of those folks digging through the drawer trying to get to the plate i want. It's embarrassing ;) You wouldn't notice it when I just grab a plate from the rack!! :D

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 3:13PM
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romy718, I just searched for that thread and couldn't find it in Kitchens. Is it somewhere else on here? Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 3:28PM
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Lisa, have you taped out the size of a drawer (front to back), to see how much room you need for the dishes?

Don't close off the cabinet over the hood! You never know what little-used item you'll decide to put up there. Especially when you say you need every inch.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 3:41PM
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I need every inch in certain places but not every inch everywhere. ;-) I hated climbing up on a chair to access the space above the hood in our first house and that wasn't as high up as my cabs over the hood will be once we remodel. Plus the hood extends farther forward than the very basic hood we had in our first house. Plus, my cabs will be 45" tall (9' ceilings). Plus we're adding storage to the back side of the island (unused seating overhang because there's just not enough room for island seating and kitchen table). Plus, I've been a very thorough clean-out, donating items I haven't used in years, like the fondue pot and the teak bowl set from the '70s. It's been decades since I used either. I also tossed my ancient blender (not worth donating, barely works) but I plan to replace it with a newer, better model.

Other storage we're gaining is a new cabinet in the DR, recessed in the wall under the stairs behind the unused space at the back of the pantry. It will be about 24" wide and 36-40" tall (won't know size for sure until the wall is opened up). I plan to put my formal china and other serving pieces in that unit.

But you make a valid point. I should make sure I don't need that space before I decide.

And, of yes, have I ever marked off drawer sizes with blue painters' tape to check what will fit or not! That's how I figured out that the bare minimum I need for my dish drawers is more than the KD spec'd on the draft plan. And that was crowding things fairly tight together. I'd rather a bit more space than that.

Awnmyown, trust me, I have plenty of my own quirks. They just don't affect my dish placement. ;-) I have a neighbor who has the vertical dish storage. I'll go visit and give her dish storage a try-out. However, if I do that, then I lose my first shelf of glassware storage. Not sure it's a trade-off I want to make.

ativoli, the link to the thread about drawers is below. I bookmarked it.

To sum it up, GWers' dish drawers range from 28" to 36" wide, with heavy duty glides for the widest drawers. Wider drawers gives one more wiggle room for storage, plus it's not necessary to stack bowls as high. Time to pour over my plan and see how I can make that work for my kitchen. I'll make copies and post for review and feedback later.

Thanks, everyone!

Here is a link that might be useful: Everything I Wanted to Know About Drawers...

This post was edited by lisa_a on Thu, Jul 24, 14 at 17:34

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 4:48PM
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My apologies. Baking all day, so I've only skimmed the thread, so I hope I didn't miss something.

Lisa and Bee, my dish experiment was, indeed, below the flatware drawer. If the dishes were counter height, that is, in the flatware drawer, they'd be fine for me. Ideal even. but I still would rather reach down a whole stack to set the table, than bend and lift it up as a dead weight. I have absolutely nothing against dishes in drawers! It's just not for me and my taller confreres.

Re organization: I'm a huge proponent of keep it where you use it. Most use things get priority, with less used things along the perimeter. If you need something where it's not, think about getting another.

Examples: My prep area has knives and other cutting tools, prep bowls, cutting and prepping gadgets (peelers, reamers, graters, pineapple cutter, etc.), vegetable brushes, colanders, mixing bowls, compostables bags and small cutting boards. That's in four small drawers (two deep ones, two shallow). Everything I need to prep is there.

The great big mandoline that is invaluable for slicing vegetables for the multitudes is in a cabinet on the perimeter. It's not far from the prep area, but it's bulk and less neededness don't get prime space.

The flatware is on the opposite end of the kitchen from the baking area, but I often need a table knife for baking tasks. I bought two from open stock at an outlet and they stay in the baking tools drawer along with a few forks for mixing and spoons for scooping from my college flatware (the knives from that set cut dinner well, but they have small, triangular blades and are useless for baking).

Exceptions. Some things only fit where they fit. Even though I have a ridiculous number of mixing bowls (3 sets--1 glass, 1 pouring, 1 melamine (2 sets were gifts)) in my prep area, I often want one of my old bowls that live in the baking area, like the 5 qt. stainless bowl. So I walk a step to get it. It's too big for the prep area anyway. I have a caddy for big boards, racks, etc. It is where it is, and I have to walk around the island to get things for baking. So be it. OTOH, baking dishes, pans, and tools are all there, right to hand.

It's a balancing act. Do your best. Expect to rearrange some things after a month or two, and again after five years. :)


P.S., Go ahead and think relevé, but do draw the line at sous-sus if you're reaching for dishes. Stability is key. Counterbalance with an arabesque, instead. :)

This post was edited by plllog on Fri, Jul 25, 14 at 0:19

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 12:04AM
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I have a 42 inch dish drawer that failed. It really had nothing to do with the drawer or the cabinets but part of the installation. Make sure they reinforce the screws into the cabinets and heavy duty glides.

Neither the kitchen designer nor myself realized that you had to calculate the weight of the drawer in addition of the dishes and insert. I just asked the question was assured that I didn't need to include the weight of the drawers.

My drawer weighed 30 pounds and insert weighed 8 pounds, so be sure to weigh your dishes in advance. My dishes weighed 75 pounds which I thought would okay. Now add in the 8 pounds for the dish organizer plus the dishes and drawer and it's a recipe for disaster. You can see my old post if you search for A2Gemini recipe for disaster on gardenweb

I still love my drawer and we do it again with some modifications.
Most of the dish stacks are not as tall as the drawer with the exception of bowls, so I might not use a full depth drawer for the dishes. It is so much easier to grab them out of the drawer than to try to lift them down from an upper cabinet.

As others have said I put my items of the kitchen based on their zones and their usage. My flatware is just above the dishes. My cereal is in the cabinet above the dishes. The dishes are in the serving area on their way out the dining room but still close to the sink and dishwasher.

Here is a picture of my modified drawer with the horizontal insert drawer organizer. With the modification, I actually have more dishes in it than my original single drawer.

I am visiting DM doing this from my phone so apologize for any predictive text errors

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 7:28AM
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plllog, thanks so much for the very detailed account of what you store in drawers and where. Very helpful!

a2gemini, now that you've reminded me, I do remember your thread about your drawer failure. Wow, 42"! That is a wide drawer. I already knew to take the hardware into account when calculating the total weight but - d'oh - I had overlooked including the weight of the drawer. Thanks for that tip!

I love your double stacked dish drawer. When I laid all my dishes out yesterday, with plates in one stack but bowls in 3 stacks (I have 12 of each), the tallest stack was only 5". That's a waste of a lot of space in a 12" deep drawer! I was thinking of asking my KD if an 8" tall drawer (6" top drawer, 3 - 8" drawers below it) would work better. But your idea works just as well. I'd love to know more about your clever set-up, please. How deep is each section? How are the glides for the top section installed?

I did a pretend unload of dishes from the DW into the dish drawer, silverware into the drawer above the dishes and glassware into the cab yesterday. I also repeated several times the task of lifting a stack of plates down from an upper cab and lifting that same stack up from drawer. I much preferred the latter and I think that it's going to be the better option as I age. So, yay, I feel even more sure that dish drawers are the way to go for me!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 1:09PM
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Keep in mind that an 8" drawer is 8" on the outside, but not on the inside, so be sure to get the inside measurement. Mine is 9.5" and there's about 2" of space free at the top of the tallest stack (see picture above). I think the double-stack that A2gemini has is awesome. Solves both weight and organizational issues.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 2:24PM
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I have a dish drawer for the first time in my life and i like it a lot! It's 24" wide and about 10" deep (I think). I have one stack of each of the following:

dinner plates
dessert plates
large cereal bowls
wide but shallow pasta bowls
plus I think two stacks of small dessert bowls

I have the caddy things from IKEA and I like them for carrying dishes to the table or even loading at the dishwasher and then putting away in the drawer. I have a slate floor and I don't trust my somewhat arthritic grip all the time. The caddy makes it easier to carry a bunch of dishes at once.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 3:01PM
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(smacking my forehead) sjhockeyfan, I knew that, just had a brain fart moment.

I like the idea of the Ikea caddies, spanky_md. We have an Ikea near us, I'll go check them out, thanks!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 3:04PM
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LOVE! We haven't even unpacked our dishes at the new house yet, and I already miss my all-drawer kitchen like crazy.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 11:02PM
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I will send dimensions when back home. It isn't exactly an 8/4 split as I wanted the best functionality from both sections.

My most used items are in the big section. Lesser used items are in the upper section. I hoped to get all 12 plates and 3 bowl stacks in the lower. It ended up that only 11 fit, so I moved 4 to the upper section.

This was the solution to my drawer failure without replacing the entire cabinet and risk damage to counter and backsplash.
I like it better than my original set up as less wasted space, although I do want a center cut out to make it easier to grab but not sure it will happen.
I know the glides are Blum heavy duty soft close.
You will like your drawer. It is so much easier than lowering a stack from up high and you don't have to take out stacks to reach other stacks.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 7:32AM
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Thank you, a2gemini! I'm so enamored of this idea that I'm going to repeat this for the drawer holding my outdoor dinnerware. I look forward to more info from you.

Thanks to everyone who responded to this thread with such helpful information. I've got a much better handle on how to make drawers work for me now.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 3:46PM
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Sometimes accidents have a silver lining. Thanks!
I fly home late tomorrow but good possibility of a canceled flight based on the weather.
Feel free to bump if I have brain fry on the return.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 5:46PM
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Will do, thanks! Have a safe flight home.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 6:40PM
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To lynn2006 (email query, and thank you for the nice words!) and for anyone else wondering: my cabinets (first photo in this thread) are from Ikea. The fronts are Adel off-white. The dish drawer is their standard 36" wide deep drawer. It's been about 2 years now and everything still works great.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 11:23PM
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Lisa, thanks for starting this thread, I am just starting to plan my kitchen, this post has been very useful to me.

northcarolina, thanks for adding that post about your Adel Ikea cabinets, that is exactly the size (36") that I was thinking about ordering for my dish drawer.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 2:22PM
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That's the whole point of the forum, judithva. We all learn from others' advice and experiences. It's proven invaluable to me.

Good luck with your remodel!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 4:46PM
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Hi Lisa,
Here is the information for you.
The outside cabinet is standard 12 inches tall with the drawer box cut down to just over 5.5 inches. (I measured 5 9/16)
The inside height of the lower drawer box is 4.75 inches tall.

The outside height of the second drawer (top) is 4.25 inches and the inside height is a hair of 3.5 inches.

Both used Blum heavy duty soft close bottom mount glides

Here is one picture from the side showing the relationship of the drawers. I can put 3 stacked cereal bowls in the lower drawer (or 4 soup dishes) but your dishes may be different.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 12:19PM
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Bump for Lisa

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 8:50PM
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I'm SO EXCITED your kitchen remodel is finally going to happen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You've gotten so many responses and good tips, that I was only able to skim through. I love our kitchen dish drawers, but we cheated a bit. Our dish area has a hutch sitting on the counter above the dish drawers. It's mostly full of glasses, cups, serving bowls, and pitchers, but has drawers across the bottom for flatware. This means that the top drawer in the base cabinet, that might usually hold flatware, is free for dishes, like custard cups, etc. Our plates (dinner and salad/dessert sizes) and cereal bowls are in the 2nd drawer from the top (the first deep one), and we have Tupperware type containers in the bottom drawer. (In the pics in the link below we still had some serveware in the bottom drawers, but now it's plastic containers in one and lids in the other.) I wouldn't want to have everyday-use dishes in the bottom drawer.

We had 46" for the dish storage, so we did 2 cabinets each at 23" wide. Our dishes are heavy, and many for our crew, so I'd worry about going too wide.

Here is a link that might be useful: my kitchen... Dish drawers shown about 1/2 way down

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 9:11PM
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a2gemini, how kind of you to bump this thread for me! Thank you!

Can you believe it, rhome?!?! I'm finally getting my new kitchen! We met with our contractor yesterday and he gave us a rough idea of time line: we'll probably start in 6 to 8 weeks and it will take 8 weeks. We'll know more once he talks to the cabinet makers. And then the fun begins!

I *wish* I had room for a hutch like you have! I could if we pushed the back wall out two feet and every now and then, that thought tempts me but then I come back to reality, sigh and move on. ;-)

Oh, one really useful bit of info we got from our contractor. It was his idea to wheel our tent trailer out of the garage and use it as our temporary kitchen. Genius!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 12:42AM
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Sorry my picture posted upside down - originally it was the correct orientation.
I am with rhome - our everyday dishes are in the muddle drawer and the "Tupperware" etc i the bottom drawer.
Our glasses are in the cabinet above with a glass front.
The bottom drawer would be to low for ceramic dishes.
Rhome - good choice to split - as you know, ours was a bit heavy but love it now.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 11:34AM
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a2gemini, I forgot to add my thanks for posting the pics and info for me. I've written it all down to share with my KD and cabinet maker.

I'm putting our outdoor dishes in the bottom drawer in another drawer stack (below the bread drawer) but we don't access those dishes often plus they're Corelle so they aren't nearly as heavy as my Fiestaware dishes. Like you and rhome, I would not want those dishes in a bottom drawer.

I'm putting baking and casserole dishes in the bottom drawer below my daily dishes.

I tweaked my island design and I'll have either a 33" or 34" wide drawer for my dishes (I may need to increase the depth of a cab on the perimeter, which will shrink my island an inch). That gives me enough room for all my dishes plus our coffee mugs. Yay!

I'll be sure to ask for heavy duty glides.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 12:37PM
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Lisa - right on! Heavy duty glides!
I use my WS pantry dishes outside and most are in the top insert. If more than 6, I have 24 cheap world market plates in the basement -dinner, salad, and coffee mugs.
I find less spills and peeps are more careful with solid plates vs paper
I planned to buy Corelle but found the world market first. I grew up with Corelle.
Please post when done. Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 4:31PM
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I definitely will, a2gemini! I've helped so many people with their kitchen plans and it's disappointing when they don't return to post their finished kitchens.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 6:56PM
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You must have triggered a few to post! Quite a few reveals popped up in the past few days!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 10:02PM
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I don't know if I can claim credit but I'm glad people are sharing!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 10:33PM
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I'm late to the party. LOL

I have 24" drawers that are next to the stove with stove utensils, pots and pans and baking pans, french oven in it. Across from the sink I have a 30" set of drawers. The top two are 15" each and have dish cloths and other less often used gadgets. The middle 30" drawer has our lunch bags, tupperware for lunches, cereal bowls and plastic cups for the boys (ages 9 and 12.5). The bottom drawer has mixing bowls, bigger tupperware, mason jars, measuring cups etc. The bottom one is a bit of a hodge podge.

The plates and glasses are in uppers. They are a wee bit tall for the 9 year old, but the 12 year old can reach the bottom two shelves. They seem high. I think they are higher than our old shelves. Either way, I love a dedicated lunch making area, and I LOVE drawers and all pullouts on the bottom. :)

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 5:49PM
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